Best Work Boots of 2017 – Guide & Reviews.
Safety toe work boots keep your feet safe and comfortable as you grind through the concrete and metallic pieces in your work area. But with most of today’s work boot reviews being given out by manufacturers, it is difficult to get honest reviews of the best work boots in the market.
That’s why we took our time to research on, analyze and familiarize our self with the leading work boots in the market today so that we can give honest reviews based on real customer reviews, budget, features and performance of the different work boot.
Why work boots and not any other ordinary footwear?
Working in industries such as in construction sites can be a tough job. And the footwear you put on to work tell a lot about how you value your own safety while sweating the days off in your work area. Truth is, there is little room to experiment with a work boot given that there are hundreds of deleterious accidents can happen in your place of work.
A work boot keeps your foot your from the harm of falling debris, hard blocks and everything else that can injure you as you go through your line of duty.
Whether you work in water logged zones, walk through dew and simply had to get yourself wet, work boots keep your feet dry and essentially warm amidst cold surroundings.
As you work through the debris, you’ll, once in a while, be forced to make that awkward landing that lead to a fall or a disabling injury. Fortunately, work boots are designed to allow for such awkward movement and also provide a soft landing.
҉ Feel confident
You will definitely have a peace of mind when you know you are protected from possible accidents in your line of work.
Work boots are made of sturdy materials that withstand harsh terrains and all the odd jobs that can come their way. With a good selection, you can be sure of having your boot for years.
|Best Overall Work Boots in 2017 at a Glance|
| Our Editor's Pick
Title: Timberland White Ledge Men's Waterproof Boot
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
This is one of those boots that you can wear to different places and still remain fashionable and protected. It's biggest selling point is in its minimal design and the light weight which makes the boot incredibly versatile safety wear. The boots are made of full-grain waterproof leather that protects you from rain drops and early morning dew. A breathable footbed adds to the comfort of wearing the boot while the multi directional rubber lugs come in handy whenever you want accelerate, brake and climb with ease.
~A perforated footbed that wicks away moisture and create breathing space.
~An underlying collar tongue that eases the pressure exerted by the laces.
~ A durable, full-grain waterproof leather.
~ B.S.F.P. system for improvement support.
~ Light in weight
* Miss a strengthened toe cap thus unsuitable for industrial working environments
* Lack electrical hazard protection capabilities
B.S.F.P. system, Full-grain leather, Collar tongue, Perforated footbed, Multi directional rubber lugs.
Check Buyer's Ratings
|2||Title: Caterpillar Men's 2nd Shift 6" Plain Soft-Toe Work Boot.|
Manufacturer: CAT Footwear.
You will agree that Caterpillar is a leading brand when it comes to choosing a work boots. The rugged Caterpillar 2nd Shift Work Boot is durable, has an outstanding design and it meets the set Safety standards to the letter. While the boot is made of the long lasting full grain leather, the upper parts of the boot have a feet-friendly nubuck material for improved ventilation.
|3||Title: Maelstrom Men's Tac Force 8 Inch Zipper Tactical Boot|
Working in areas such as the security enforcement zones leaves little room for experimenting with flexibility and safety of your feet. The Malestrom work boot comes with a heavy duty YKK™ Zippers and Shock-absorbing midsole making this boot a dependable resource for professionals working in the security and law enforcement agencies. The boots oil and lip resistant outer soles further makes the boot ideal for those who spend their days trudging muddy grounds and harsh environments.
|4||Title: Sorel Mens Conquest Boot|
This boot was made with the outdoor enthusiasts in mind. Its proprietary leather build and the 400g Thinsulate Ultra insulation makes the boot a solid pick for avid winter hikers and the urban dwellers looking for a light boot to protect them from the winter cold.
|5||Title: Timberland PRO Men's Direct Attach Six-Inch Soft-Toe Boot.|
If you are looking for a sturdy but lighter work boot, then this is the work boot to go for. It's actually an ideal alternative to the heavier steel toed boot. The upper body of this work boot is constructed of seam-sealed waterproof leather making the boot an all purpose work wear. With regard to the sole, the manufacturer uses the trusted but rugged Timberland PRO rubber which increases grip and boot resistivity to puncture.
|6||Title: Timberland PRO Men's Pitboss 6" Steel-Toe Boot|
This boot stands out from other boots due to its sturdy build, stylistic design and the comfort it offers to its user. First off, the upper body of the boot is constructed from a rugged full-grain leather which makes it ideal for use in tough work zones such as in construction sites and logging zones. Further on, the protective steel toe is designed such that it leaves enough room for free movement of the toe movement and for breathability purposes. As a result, your feet remain comfortable in the boot even when you have won the boots for long periods of time. Talking of the boot's sole make, the lower sole features a traction-grip layer that makes it safe to walk and work even on slippery surfaces. Lastly, a removable, sock liner provides for a soft and comfortable landing for your feet.
|How to Pick a Work Boot that Suits Your Needs?|
| A combination of some background research and customer reviews can help you find a work boot that fits both your working environment and your fashion preferences. But generally, these are guiding principles to consider in pursuit of the suitable work boot.
√ The Make of the Sole
Soles in different material and tread make. Basically, a sole is dividend into outsole which comes into contact with the ground, a midsole which is a sole above the outsole and which makes the footbed comfortable and the boot durable. Check out for presence of cement- the adhesive that binds the upper leather and a direct attach of the sole and the leather. Also established the type of material the sole is made of. Basically, rubber is the most comfortable but less durable while dual density foam is the most sturdy but isn't very convenient.
Pro~tip: Check if the work boot has a Green Triangle which is indicative of a class 1 toe cap and whose sole is puncture resistant.
Yellow Triangle represents a class 2 toe cap with puncture resistivity.
√ The Height of the Work Boot
The height of work boots range from 5-inch for hikers to 12-inch for Wellingtons. To give you a better idea, a 6-inch high boot reaches around the ankle and supports the joint while a 12-inch boot reaches mid-shin. Decides what best fits your need basing on these tips.
√ Insulation and Waterproofing Properties.
The key to choosing a boot that will protect you from wetness is ensuring that the boot you choose has waterproof leather lining that keeps the water out. Alternatively, you can opt for a pair that has a Gore-TeX membrane which keeps the water out. If you have the means, you can order a pair of work boots that offers both systems of protection.
√ Estimated Time to Break In
Wearing a work boot for the first time will leave you with some aches and probable blisters due to the pressure exerted on areas such as the heels and the toe area. As you prepare to purchase your work boot, think of the estimated time that it may take to make the pair of boots comfortable on your feet. A general observation is that those boots that are made of fabric break in easier than the stiff leather varieties. If you need a leather work boot, find an alternative wear to cover you till the boot becomes bearable on your feet.
√ Brand trustworthy score
There is no denying that some brands are popular than others. Checking on sites such as Amazon.com will give you a good hint on which are the best and most trusted brands in the market.
√ Electrical Surge Protection Capability
If you you interact with electrical components in your working space, it's vital to take precautionary measures against electrical hazards. Check to which level a given a work boot brand protects you against electrical surge capabilities.
A work boot with a White Square on the side is an good indicator of electrical surge protection capabilities.
A boot with a Red Square is no go zone if you work with electrical devices as the red mark indicatives that the boot conducts electrical charge.
√ Type of leather used.
Work boots mainly come in one of the four main grades of leather;
~ Full grain which offers unrivaled fiber strength and longevity. Full grain patches out in place of wear and tear, has better breathability and is generally used on majority of footwear.
~ Top-grain leather is thinner but more refined than full grain. It's often used in the making of high end leather products.
~ Split leather is basically the residual of top-grain leather. It's often embossed with an artificial layer of bycast leather to give it some traction. Drop split is often used in making of suede.
~ Corrected-grain leather have an artificial grain embossed onto their surface to make them more solid and appealing.
√ The type of the safety toe
We already saw that there are different safety toe right from composite toe, soft toe and a variation of metallic make toes such as steel toe, alloy toe and the less known Titan toe but which are commonly used by Timberland brand. The toe cap that you opt for will largely be determined by environment that you intend to use the work boot in. If you are in the construction industry, then a boot with a metallic toe is your best bet. If you rather looking for a light hiking boot, then a soft toe is the best choice ahead of composite toe boots.
√ Impact and Compression Ratings
Impact rating is an indicative number of pounds that the shoe protects you against on impact. The rating is presented as a fraction with the lower number indicating the pounds the boot pair can withstand. The numerator value is always presented as a unit. As a way of elaboration, a work boot whose impact rating is indicated as 1/76 means the boot can protect your for up 76 pounds impact weight. The minimum impact rating for working boots is 1/50
Compression rating, on the other hand, is a representative value of the total number of loads a work boot can withstand before reaching the breaking or cracking point. Basically, compression rating is designated as C/a number x.
The 3 Classes of Safety-toe Work Boots:
Work boots are classified according to the type of toe cap used:
Toe Cap: This is the protective cap that is built into the toe box of the given boot. A toe cap serves to protect the the toes and the feet of whoever individual wearing the work boot.
Toe caps are broadly categorized into 3 main categories of steel toe, composite toe, and soft toe. Let’s have a look at each of these in some more detail.
Typically, these are working boots that have a steel cap at the toe area. They are designed to give you maximum protection while you ago about your duties. The toe box is wide enough to give your toes room to spread out. As such, you won’t feel uncomfortable even on wearing these boots for long duration. That’s not all, the design of the boot’s toe region is asymmetrical and mimics the shape of your foot and this ultimately makes for a good fitting boot. Steel-toe boots often designed as Lace-up so that you can tighten them to your comfort. The out soles are made of hardened rubber making them slip, and abrasion-resistance. A padded collar adds an extra layer of protection and comfort to the front parts of your feet. The raised side covering means your ankles are less exposed to hazards as such as protruding edges, falling objects and electrical devices. Not to forget, the outer cover is made of durable leather meaning it can service you for extended duration and help you save some bucks in the long run.
|Recommended Best Steel Toe Work Boots|
|Caterpillar Men's Diagnostic Waterproof Steel-Toe Work Boot||GW Men's 1606ST Steal Toe Work Boots||KEEN Utility Men's Pittsburgh Steel Toe Work Boot.||Ariat Men's Workhog Steel Toe Work Boot|
|Price: $$$||Price: $$||Price: $$$||Price: $$$|
|Body Make: Leather||Body Make: Full-Grain Nubuck Leather.||Body Make: Leather and Fabric||Body Make: Leather|
|Sole Make: Rubber||Sole Make: Rubber||Sole Make: Rubber||Sole Make: Rubber|
For those looking for lighter, non-metallic footwear, composite-toe boots offer an excellent alternative to work boots with a steel-toe. For composite-toe boot, the toe cap is made of a composite, non-metallic material. The key ingredients of the composite material include Kevlar aramid fiber, plastic and carbon fiber. These types of boots are ideal for individuals who work in metal-sensitive areas and who often have to pass through metal screening detectors in their line of duty. If you work in one of these areas, then a composite shoe is your best fit: airport, a nuclear laboratory and security departments.
3. Soft-toe Work Boots.
Sometimes a soft toe comes with an added burden weight on the feet. For those who do not necessary work in tough conditions but still want to adorn a work boot, a soft toe is an ideal alternative they can turn to.
A soft toe work boot differs with both composite and steel work boots in that they don’t have a hardened toe area. Even then, they still offer other protective properties present in composite and steel toe boots. These include protection from electrical hazards, are water proof, the sole offer offer durable traction and the interior lining offer support and comfort to the feet.
Does a Soft-toe Work Boot Fit Your Working Area?
Soft toe boots are ideal for people working outside of construction and industrial sites. These people may include landscaping professionals, hiking enthusiast, and pretty any one who stands or walks for long duration but aren’t in direct line of hazards such as falling objects.
Why it’s Important to Buy Top Quality Work Boots for your Employees.
Work sites pose a lot of hazards that can lead to disabling injuries and financial losses if there aren’t proper safety measures put in place. Besides such losses, it’s a law requirement that for employees who are at risk of injuries caused by crushing, punctures, sprains and lacerations should be provided with safety toe boots at no cost. These also includes industries where employees can suffer trips, slips and falls.
Basically, these are the five main reasons to provide your employees with safety toe work boots:
҉ To Safeguard the welfare and health of your employees
Work boots reduce the occurrence of injuries in work place. The employees can go about their duties with some piece of mind knowing they are protected from every day hazards such as slips, lacerations, punctures and occasional trips.
҉ Compliance with government regulations
Different governments have laid down regulations regarding the safety of employees in various. As an employer, it’s important to be on the right side of the law by availing the necessary safety wear for your employees working under your watch.
҉ Avoid/ minimize law suits resulting from work place injuries.
If an employee is injured while working for your industry, they are entitled to compensation packages based on guidelines existing in different states. Without providing protective footwear to your employees, your establishment can face numerous law suits resulting from injuries- even those that may have resulted from carefree attitude by employees.
҉ A Form of motivation
Let’s face it, no employee would have the urge to work harder in an environment where they feel they employees don’t care about their welfare. By providing the right boots and under no conditions makes them feel valued and likely to put more thought in their line of work. The motivation will reflect on the overall performance of your company.
Work Boot Leather Variation- Choose Your Style.
Leather used in making work boots come in four grades; Top-grain, Full-grain, Split leather and Corrected grain. The quality and the grade that a leather belongs to is majorly determined by the refining done to remove imperfections on the leather.
The top layer is split out and separated from the rawhide so as to create a smooth end product. The surface of top grain leather undergoes buffing, sanding, stamping to make the surface smooth and remove scratches, insect bites, and other unsightly markings. It’s then dyed to produce a sleek finish. Top grain leather is used in making high end leather projects.
Typically refers to the leather that has not been snuffed or sanded. It thus retains it imperfections. It’s, however, far stronger as the fiber layout remains intact. Aniline dyes are used to furnish the surface of full-grain leather and give it an appealing natural look. This kind of leather is often used on quality footwear products such as the ARCTIV8 work boot.
As opposed to full-grain leather, corrected-grain is given a nominal level of artificial grain to mask out surface defects such as scratches and insect bites. This kind of leather is often used in manufacture of heavy duty products such as household furniture and work boots.
It’s created out of the fibrous part of a rawhide. The split leather is reinforcing artificial layer embossed into it to bulk out the thin layers. If you have ever owned a pair of suede shoes, then that was split leather that you won.
|You will be pleased to note that there are tens of outstanding split work boots on offer. Here are our top 2 Picks:|
Maelstrom Men’s Tac Force 8 Inch Zipper Tactical Boot:
This boot is made with security and work professionals in mind. Maelstrom boots are light in weight, durable and waterproof. The boot’s inner linings are made of Dri-Lex waterproof membrane liner that avails enough movement and breathing space, a soft and comfortable foot bed and a side zipper so that put them on and off with ease.
What’s more? The TAC FORCE 8′ boot features an athletic design ideal for people who are always on the move.
~ Light thus ideal for walking long distances and standing for long periods.
~ A side zipper that makes it easy to remove or wear the boot.
~ The Dri-Lex membrane liner protects your feet from moisture.
≈ Lack arc support functionality.
Caterpillar Women’s Jace Waterproof Work Boot Steel Toe – P90562:
This rugged suede are made for the hardworking ladies in need of stylish yet protective work boot. They are slip resistant and have enhanced electrical hazard technology. The PVC Midsole makes a soft landing for the feet. This is of great help to ladies who start for long hours during their duty.
A combination of a sturdy T1170 Outsole and a Goodyear welt construction makes the boot ideal for even the most rugged work sites that a lady can work in.
- The upper part of the boot is made of a soft woolen cover that makes it enticing.
- The boot’s protective toe cap is wide enough for easy breathing and maximum protective.
- The leather used is easy to clean and is durable.
- A Nylex sock liner provides for a soft landing of the foot.
≈Those with narrow feet may be forced to wear padded socks so that the boot fits on them perfectly.
〉〉〉 A bonus Tip: How to Tie Work Boot Laces for Most Comfort
Lacing your boots provide a better support to your feet and can also add a tinge of style if they are done rightly. The fact that work boots have longer laces than your ordinary footwear means that tying them needs might require you to spend some more time on it and some skills to do right.
Keeping the laces in place is especially if you work with machines that can grasp loose end and cause accidents. This video helps you understand how you can tie your work boot laces and step out in style. Watch it out.
How to Maintain and Care for your Leather Work Boot.
Any time your wear your leather work boot you mean serious business. This means grinding through rocks, wood cuttings, mud and such. Unless you take good of your loved and most comfortable steel boots, they will fall apart in a matter of months. Here are some great tips to keep your pair of work boots in great condition.
♦ Clean and wipe away the embedded dirt.
First remove the shoe laces and inner soles to make cleaning much easy. The two should be washed separately in some soapy water, rinsed and dried.
Now the boot is a little more free, its easier to clean it off. Use a soft-bristle brush, such as one made of a nylon, to remove the loose dirt and the accompanying debris.
It’s important to avoid using brushes that have hard bristles as they can easily graze your work boot’s leather surface. Once you remove the loose debris, untie the laces and wash them in some soapy water. Using a soft cloth and warm soapy water, clean the outer surface taking care of the hard to clean areas such as the collar padding and the interiors. You can remove the inner soles and wash them separately. Place them on an exposed patch to dry out. It’s good practice to give your boots a thorough scrub once a month to keep them in top condition.
Note>> Avoiding using detergents and every day bar soaps on leather work boots as they make the leather dry and thus susceptible to cracking.
♦ Dry and condition the boot
Leave your clean work boots a well ventilated and airy room so that they dry out. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight as this may cause rapid drying up and possible cracking. Too much shade will also mean your boots will take much longer to dry out.
♦ Polish up the surface.
Once your boots are completely dry, apply a layer of mink oil to condition them out. Saddle soap is also an ideal alternative to mink oil as it also possess softening and preservative compounds that are ideal for leather. Check out how saddle soaps work.
♦ Apply a waterproofing product.
There are different approaches that you can apply to waterproof your work boot. You can either opt to use wax, or creams or paste or alternatively opt to use waterproofing sprays that are much easier to apply than creams.
♦ Store the boots appropriately when not in use.
‘Dumping and heaping’ your work boots can cause moisture accumulation, maligning of the inner soles, build up of acidic conditions and the ultimate loss of shape and occurrence of cracking. It’s a good practice to place your boots on some cedar shoetree supports as they help absorb the moisture and keep the boot in shape.
〉〉〉 Pro tip:
It’s important to chat with other work boot users from time to time to know about selecting the most suitable work boot, the best way to maintain your work boots and generally anything else that concerns work boots. You can join forums such as this, or peruse through customer reviews on credible websites such as Yelp.
Wrapping it all;
A work boot is one of your most important assets in your line of work. For this, you should ensure you choose an ergonomic, durable and stylish boot that can survive even the most rugged environments. A good starting point is reading through expert reviews on the different categories and brands of work boots. This way, you will be in a position to choose a boot that fits your needs.
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